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Full text of "Transmogrify"

GOOD JUDGMENT 
IS NOTHING MORE 

THAN compliance 







Jamie Smith can be contacted 

reactionarY ba he@ao.com 

or 

730 Interdrive 2E. 

St. Louis Mo. 

63130 













transmogrify 

Selected writings by jamie smith 







\ee,lee,Ue t Jeejecjec, fU,tee,t^ nee^ee^ee, 



All original written works contained. 

Yet... 

who knows where the visual images came from. 

No rights reserved. 

All parts of this book may 12P reproduced and transmitted in any 

form by any means, electronic or mechanical, especially including 

photocopying if it is done at the expense of some unsuspecting 

corporation. (z* D - 

The poem titled ' ^fyu^ 

"The Next Morning She Bought Me Pancakes" Ct ^ y 
was published in Currents literary Magazine < 

Volume 36, Spring 2001 




ej 



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IMPORTANT: INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR MEDICATION 



RX # 6138301 
JAMIE SMITH 
SULFATRIM D/S 



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.TAKE WITH WATER 
.AVOID DAZEREX-PQSURE 





Departure. 
Date: 

August 24, 2001 

Confessions of an anti-globalization anarchist activist 
I exploring Ghana . 

Sounds like a decent book title, huh?^ 
The passport arrived in the mail today, and suddenly I| 
know deep down that this will change everything. I nowl 
just need to get the visa in order and in two months I am] 
to leave. . .Africa. |L^>^V^-iW-^ 

bb a saB^a 

An old friend called me yesterday, she told me she was 
proud. Very few people actually get to experience a. 
dream. I taped this quote on the door today. "I want to run] 
nude through Africa before there ain't no Africa left." 
I want to... the list runs on and on for when i'm gonna be" 
gone.] 

Somehow I don't think I'll be gone,| 
I think I'll be found. 



Shots begin soon, yellow fever, rabies, typhoid... 
I honestly don't know if I will want to return, except 
possible the selfishness involving personal comfort 
I don't feel any particular concern for this nation 
Yet maybe I just need to see it though different 



anymore, 
eyes. 




TIYD SNOII-dlHOSaHd tfflOA - ' 

no ONnasNnoo aana noa ' * 



DNIHAS TW/DOWOS H-XIH30N3 

h-liws aiwvr 

E0e8€T9 # XU 



D £.-1 _ . 




Clothing 

— 1 pair walking shoe 

1 pair sandal 

1 pair boots 

__ 12 pairs white ankle socks 
8 pair undies 

— 2 pairs of shorts 

— 3 pairs of pants 
__ 2 skirts 
1 light dress 

1 sweater Me dicine&Toiletries 

_1 rain jacket "E55??"-. 

__ 1 bathing suit ~ toothbrush an <* toothpaste 

__ 3 bandannas - soa P an d shampoo 

yV — sunscreen 

r^w condoms 






* 



Do some research before leaving 
jme. A large array of books, available 
. in travel bookstores and university 
libraries, explain cultural customs across 
the globe. Read the introductory sec- 
tions of guidebooks, and keep notes 
on suggestions for how to dress, greet 
4 people and act in religious temple 1 ; 
ty^shrines, 



w 



clothing toliet paper 

0.1 Pairofwa _ tampons . 4 monms ^ 

J 1 pair of flip ,. ,. 

□ 24 pairs of — «9E!*«Me razors 



□ 4 pairs of underwe- 1 ' v n 

Stuff 



F I AHHrocc hnnii 






□ 1-2 pairs of shorts 

□ 1-2 skirts/trousers 

□ 3 shirts / 2. 




w 



camera 

1 sweater/sweats — SWlSS a ™Y knife 

□ 1 poncho/rain |ack travel journal 

□ 1 Mght jacket __ address book 

□ 1 bathing suit 1 . . 

ju*i3**r>dc — dooks, guides, maps, compass 

□ 1 semi-nice outfit — laundry soap and line 

flat drain pluo 

MEDICINE AND TO . ,~ " 

□ Prescription medic sew llig Kit 

prescriptions — plastic baggies, safety pins 

□ Toothbrush and toe. Qlue Stick 

L) Soap and shampoc _,_| , 

□ Comb and/or brusl— COl ° r ea pencils 

□ Sunscreen, moisturizers, «g°™?>r_* DOCUMENTS, ETC. 

□ Passocjrt (and visa if required) 

□ 'Documents 
°L_ passport 

□ visas 

IL. student id card 
n — money belt 

_ cash, travelers checks 
_ insurance card 
_ phone card 




□ Poodor aat ha\'f $fcl 

□ First-aid kit 

□ Contraceptives/condoms 

□ Aspirin or other pain reliever 

□ T««ueflib\i«A papt/ - 

□ Tampons XM WmtflS 

□ Disposable razors 

□ Eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact 
lenses and cleaning solution 





I'm going to affect the 

one-millionth of one 

percent of the people that 

lean. 



Dedication 



Contents: 



1 . Biding Time. 

2. 1 Want Revolution Like A Lover. 

3. Third Presidential Debate Met With Protesters 

4. She Went By Roach. 

5. On DC- Wow There Is a Lot of State to Smash Here. 

6. Farther From the Packaged Sun 

7. Stairs Crammed Between Two Flights 

8. The Next Morning She Bought Me Pancakes 

9. Moms That Smoke Produce Felons 

1 0. Running Joke 

1 1 . Joy Like 

12. 1 Was Born a Female 
13. Packing List 



Departure 



My dedication. 

The porch that we were sitting on allowed the 
cold rain to strike my back. I really didn't care. A 
afifcOQ^ child sat on a broken orange plastic couch 
that slanted to the left. 

"Hey kid, so how old are you?" My guess was 
seven, he was skinny and about 4'4'. He swore that 
he was 5 ft. I was quickly informed that he was ten 
years old, and named Issac. 

He proceeded to converse and when Jason, 
crouching in front of him didn't seem to be paying 
attention, Issac reached forward and quickly 
slapped him across the face. 

"Can we take him home?" I laughingly asked. 

Issac. Who complimented the 'anarchy- 
power-feminism' tattoo which graces my right 
outside calf. "I have spray painted that sign before," 
he said with pride. 

He went on to tell me all that he knew about 
Mumia (Abu-Jamal). About the way things are in the 
world. About the injustices, and how he donated an 
entire bag of his toys to a garage sale to raise funds 
for the defense. 

He told me that he didn't think that they would 
actually go through with the execution. 

He told me that he really didn't have any 
friends. 

Oh, Issac. Where does it go from here? To 
just another generation; another letter, named by 
Newsweek. Another decade spinning down the 
drain. 

Oh, Issac. 

You have more friends then you will ever 
even know. 



by the day. For the weapons of this country and its power 
is effecting the globe on an unprecedented scale. I will 
utilize my experiences studying abroad to join a world 
community. Creating a stable footing for a personal 
commitment to ensure freedom for my generation and 
those beyond my own time. Striving to create a global 
community that embraces true pacification, without wars, 









torture, genocide and without weapons of privilege. I 
believe that my studies in Anthropology give me the 
greatest insight for this pursuit which will be greatly 
enhanced by an experience at the college level abroad. I 
truly believe in the words of Dr. Margaret Mead, 
"Anthropological field work with living peoples in small, 
bounded communities is a vital preparation for 
participation in the planning and development of new 
planet- wide institutions" (Mead, Margaret. Letters From 
the Field . Harper and Row. New York. 1977.). 






■ 


















I was born a white female in the mid twentieth 
century industrial America. I came into this world armed to 
the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of 
privilege; racial privilege, economic privilege. To be a 
pacifist, I have to give up the weapons of privilege and go 
into the world completely disarmed. I figure if there is a 
worth while struggle in my own life, well that's probable 
the one (Phillips, Utah. The past didn't go anywhere. 1996). 
Thus far my commitment to this struggle has been through 
education and actions, limited but steadfast. I know that it 
is time to turn the page. Education through words can only 
go so far. Activism for human, environmental, and labor 
rights, is trapped by the weapons that my very life way as 
an American warrants. I must move outside of privilege, 
which I believe can best be accomplished at this juncture 

by studying abroad. 



That is where the experience at the University of 
Ghana fits. A first step outside of this realm. A chance to 
reflect on the privilege and solidify a strategy of actions. I 
commit to utilize this experience educationally to continue 
my studies in Cultural Anthropology. Upon graduation, I 
anticipate two years of grueling work, again in Africa, as a 
Peace Corps volunteer. Beyond that experience, choices 
are unlimited and global humanitarian needs are growing 






Joy Like 



The Mr. Mad Face Mug 

with the ceramic protruding nose, 

always the first one I choose 

hanging on the crooked line of nails 

above the sink. 

I offer it today to the kindred 

with the guitar 

missing fourth string 

yet he always plays. 

Joy like, 

sweat at my collar bone 

which you kissed last night \ 

in my kitchen 

salty, you smacked, salty. 

Joy like, 

the racing of my thighs, 

burning fast 

against the cars to the red light 

stop yet I breeze through 

gears upward shifting 

unhinged, uncontained. 

Joy like 

I very rarely hear my name 

instead its hon, sweet, darling 

little girl. 

From the lost generation where 

plant my feet 

in-between 

stances creating 

Joy like 

me. 








i 








She expects 
the let down 
which is me. 

"No, " I whisper, "I am staying with Carrie. " 
She spits at me. 



"Its her perky tits, right?" She laughs. 
"My tits are perkier, " 
half-laughs. 

I cry. 




Third Presidential Debate Met With Protesters in the 
Streets. 




"Get back on the side walk now or you will be arrestedl" 
In this thousand strong I discover my inner anarchist 
cheerleader. 

The rush to not obey the order, the face of the weapon of 
i this state. 
To riot shields, batons, tear gas, primed and ready to 
destroy the ideals; 
there might be a better way. 
My Cheerleader she chants: 

"Whose streets? Our streets." 

"May I ask you a few questions, like how do you feel right 

now?" 

I am going blind. 

It is leaking down my nose, infiltrating my tear ducts; 

mace. 

I lean over to throw up. 

"It burns," I scream. She pulls me back from tears. 

My cheerleader she states: 

"This is the truth, the police state." 

"Can you identify the officer, can you handle that?" 
His badge number reads 556; St. Louis Country Police 
He begrudging unzips his coat, ashamed to show his 
name. 

Cameras explode around me. 

I do not shake, and address the man given weapons to 

protect the state. 

"You need a raise." 

She is in control joyfully: 

"What do we want? Anarchy!" 









She went by roach. 

Her hips caught the attention first 

the sharp fleshy points 

screaming not birthing hips but bitchy... 

she yelled epitaphs like, 

where did all the queer anarchy chicks 

seem to disappear too. 

This from beyond the entire assemble of layered black 

it was really not that cold and the face mask 

to disguise from the them, the her. 

She went by roach, 

and would not give her true name. 

Which was Alicia who graded middle school test papers 
for money. 

Even in middle of the mid usa buried in america's 

conservative bulbous fat layer 

she knew to cover her face 

and what a 'Seattle facial' really means. 

She whispered her most pressing knowledge, 

don't throw back the tear gas canisters. 

We can cover it with the drums. 

Where are the cracks from which they came, hidden not 

just behind black face masks 

but the counter top of the diner down the street. 

She went by roach. 









• 





Running Joke 

My answering machine salivates. 
"Jamie, pick up, it's muy importante. " 
She is like my Tyler Durden. 
Birthing this cluster fuck of me. 

"HeyFaye," 

I should have satiated the machine, 

her voice creeps through these windows 

leaking cold air. 

350 miles away, 

I half- laugh, 

half-cry. 

Kansas City straight out at me. 

She is talking like she is trying to write some chick folk 

song. 

"James, your body. ...." 

caller ID, just $7.45 a month, 

'Your body, is my poetry. " 

Red hair flashes, spiky 

piercing even in my mornings 

smell her woman 

masquerading through men's deodorant. 

Veins pulsating through, 

sneaking past, 

pale freckled skin. 

She is cloaking her tears now, 
yet they cascade down 
blank new apartment walls. 
"Why, why did you have to leave?" 

Geographical Relocation. 
It's quite simple really. 



"So when you visit, your gonna stay with me right?" 






I 



p%l#l 





Id// 



y/?w 



4 









Mom's that smoke produce felons. 

A monkey can run a McDonalds. 
Women that blow out there brains 
or OD on sleeping pills 
had caffeine in there bloodstream. 

Merely correlate 

the lack of penetration 

into reality. 

People sometimes blindly believe 

that we can explain what we do. 

Is it really the lack of morning coffee that 

keeps us from 

jumping off the roof? 

Does not in the least exclude the choice, 

the distinctive acts, 

the distinctive consequences. 



What kind of explanation do you wish to hear? 
OK fine, 

if you can justify your continuing to do what you do, 
it does not exist. 



I would have gone the other way 

if, 

choices are predetermined, 

we are fading into what we are. 



NSW 

[fev- v 













/On DC- Wow, There is a lot of state to smash here." 

Departure 7:20 pm Thursday Jan. 18 th 
20 minutes behind schedule, we almost didn't make the 
I bus, we were just sitting and talking, My brother- Scott- 
jjj and my dad, it is an interesting mix. 
I am rethinking the decision to take the overnight bus trip - 
I am too excited to sleep. My brother doesn't know why he 
is going, he says that his life is just fine. I think it is more 
for the adventure, he says he wants to meet girls. A bus full 
of strangers. A beautiful small family just got on, a girl 
about ten she seems mature though and two small boys 
with just the dad. He has astonishing hair, small tight 
deadlocks down his back- perfect. Conversation lightly 
buzzes but its so dark, lonely road. 700,000 people are 
expected this weekend and its just the three of us- and in 
math your taught to round up or down based on five. We 
have no signs, no weapons, just us in our little group. The 
world seems so dark and huge and we seem so small. 
9:00am January 19 th 

Pittsburgh, we have stopped at , Cleveland, , now we 
depart again to DC. Its daylight now, the area is so hilly-I 
am surprised at how much I slept although my tailbone 
feels broken and my neck like i was in a collision. We met 
another "protester" yet... we couldn't figure out what for. 
Ok not funny but well he said something about abortion. 
My rational side says, if he says that he's against I might 
tangent on that fact that he has no uterus, and no control 
over mine It feels so out of line, we pass by areas with 
exactly the same restaurants, gas stations, decaying urban 
areas its hard not to be pessimistic. In the dark last night 
through Illinois a sprawling complex appeared out of no 
where, It was brightly lit with that sickly yellow orange, 
yet surrounded by barbed wire, it was massive. I said to 
my dad, "Look look," he asked me, "What the hell is it?" A 
Prison a prison, hidden away, a sickly glow. 

We are pulling into a mall parking lot. To the right [___ 
through the window are three local police cars. I can't help || 
but feel some amazement. Its just any other car. Its just anyN<| 
other person. The symbol not an absolute. We lock eyes \ 
and sort of laugh. /////</ 

Jfl n i 





Scott's reading the Newsweek, I am so damn cynical 
and just want to blurt out Newspeak or something as 
asinine. We are just four years apart, seemingly an entire 
generation. He seems more concerned with money, and 
music- well music first but... for him Berkeley Calf, punk 
music, a record... for me dreams of South Africa or China 

human rights stuff, renouncing my citizenship... 

I feel like a cockroach climbing out of the 
woodwork where I am always scurrying around. Just to 
disappear back into the normalcy of life school, work... 
AFTERNOON Amish Country 

He has been traveling on this route since St. Louis, 
clearly a youth, i.e. Around my age, his lip is pierced and 
his ear is stretched with this beautiful African inspired 
black piece, he wears a brownish sweatshirt and the hood 
up a lot, all he carries is a notebook and a pen. His t-shirt 
underneath is ratty and says Got Punk? He says that he is 
headed to Baltimore, I finally get him to tell me that he ran 
out of money three days ago, I gave him a bag of Pecan 
Sandies that my dad was holding and some candy and an 
apple juice. When he gets to his next stop I will give him 
money, I can't say I really know why. Maybe its something 
about his dark solemn eyes which remain so quiet and the 
ease with which he can sleep through the hum of an engine 
that takes us away- "That I could jump ship and swim that 
the ocean would hold me," I am a current inside of the sea 
which is really a system that crashes down all around you 
or me, 

My ears feel as if filled with long clown balloon's and 
inside pushing towards the surface, the shift is gradual 
thought, the Rain is constant yet not striking the ground, 
just mist moving in every direction. 
We can't figure out what the hell the time is, its gonna be 
cold and wet. I already feel sick. 

Four seats ahead a mom and her kid debate with the guy 
behind them about the security at the debates, "No worse 
than usual." The heavy set man in a green and gray plaid 
disagrees, he mentions the checkpoints 
Just another hour to DC. 




We shot glass drank Old English, this watery piss looking 

beer, 

on a warm sticky night so we sat outside. 

Sat, rather dropped, ourselves 

on the tacky damp plaid scavenged couch 

in the front yard. 

She was from Arkansas and said it was common, couches 
in the front yard that is. 

It stank, but so did we, in our ripped up jeans and the big 
boots, which were required for the sculpture yard. 

He came over, hard core crap blaring from the car. We 

could not see him from the couch until the gate swung 

open and stuck in the mud. He knew to pull it out. 

"Just to stop in," he always said. 

He spoiled us with drugs. We always wondered why. 

I pissed and got more beer. 

She rolled another joint from his bag. 

We wasted away, and I crawled upstairs, music 

sprung through the floor... 

"You 're no rock and roll fun like a party that's over before its 

begun." 

My futon seemed so high, teetering on stacked cinder 

blocks. 

I wished for a real bed. 

My big boots got stuck on. 

He took them off, I didn't know how he got into the room. 

I guess he used my door. 

He crawled up long side of me. 

He move on top of me. 

He moved in. 

I began to cry like the snot bubbling lost kid that no one 

really wants to help. 

'You 're no rock and roll fun... " 

I got lost somewhere in the song, the melody, which 

ripped away my screams, 

until I disappeared. 














. q 



•ArfSW 



■ 






DC WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL HOSTEL 
We are on the sixth floor, how we scored this available 
space I will never know but the hostel is just amazing. 
There are ten bunks in our room. I know Scott is still 
awake, my dad however is snoring. It was a nerve racking 
few hours in the city- the conflicts of traveling- At first I had 
i forgotten the city and the public transportation, but it soon 
came back to me. The sky outside is filled with strobe 
lights coming from party after party, the town is alive and 
so are the police, secret service seem to be everywhere. I 
can feel the looks as we walk down the street, they seem to 
know why we are here, I make it a point to be extra jovial 
and excited. Even the night before as we walked down the 
street other protester's nod at us and smile. 
January 20 th 

An alarm sounds and I am frozen, the room seemed to leak 

cold air all night. We jump up and move quickly bringing 

only 1 bag and off to the metro. We drop my dad off at the 

Dupont Circle for the Voters March- they have a permit 

and are 'moderate'. Scott and I circle back and hit the 

streets, finally, meeting at Franklin Park where hundreds 

of people almost all dressed in black mill around. People 

joke a lot, the familiar. We march without a clue as to 

where we are headed but we make noise. I can't tell how 

long the progression is, we are close to the front. We go in 

circles it seems through the city, hitting traffic in some 

places which seems to freak those out in the cars. We are 

lost and wandering and then we happen upon the 

Washington Post, corporate media chants begin and 

balloons filled with paint are thrown. Newspaper bins get 

tipped over or thrown- we push forward and round the 

corner heading to the parade route merely four blocks 

ahead. The police appear and lock us in and a panic sets. 

We are blocked in from the front and cannot move 

anymore. I am right at the police line talking to the cops, 

attempting the we have rights spiel. We get pushed 

numerous times and billy clubs start indiscriminately 

raining down. Scott is trying to push through and he gets 

completely beaten, I get hit hard in the neck. We hit the 

ground and back up. Linking arms and finally manage to 

break through. I make a run for it but there are so many 

people. We are still trapped so all we can do is turn back. ~~~1 p 

Up and down this street. ;~ t— 




'C 



'(, 



sides with a building to our back. We are at a street corner 
attempting to cross and walk sign flashes and the police 
still stand in the way. They keep telling the crowd to get on 
the sidewalk, get on the sidewalk. I don't budge. I am only 
one step in the street but it is the only power that I have. 
We surge forward and every walk sign and we get hit, 
pushed. We try again. An officer tells me that maybe the 
lady should step back. Everyone on the front line erupts 
yelling, fighting. We push again forward and the billy 
club is at my neck, digging into my chin. We just want to 
cross this fucking street and the police start swinging. I get 
punching directly by a cop in the left eye. I hit the cold wet 
street face down hard and bodies pile on top of me. I go 
limp and entirely inside of my mind. 1 am picked up from 
above and an officer throws me back to the sidewalk. My 
eye is swollen shut and 1 can not open it. 1 am at least back 
on the line. A protester medic pulls me back into the 

crowd. I have lost my brother. The media swarm around 
me snapping pictures. 

1 minutes later. 

Someone is striking the police with a metal pole 
from the top of a light pole, farther up a protester is 
waving a black flag. A rumor of tear gas spreads quickly 
and we all start to run. 



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I Farther From the Packaged Sun 

f N The curtain is billowing, yet the windows are both locked 

.a Fingers are trailing through the yellow frayed butterfly 
3 fabric from the outside, 
% k | where it is frigid. 

I don't want to move, 

^ J so I settle into the crevice that my body has created. 
'-; J* The cats hustle in. 

^ £i They break down my door. 



, iy 





"• 



V 



These furry balls fight constantly. 
& £ 5 Until they are found basking on the faux middle eastern 
< print carpet, 

in some odd fraternal harmony, in the warmth of the 

patterned sun. 

It filters in so rigidly defined in tight glowing lines. 

I just want to lay, in the crevice of my body, 
<r I snuggled up along side 
- -&4| a lunch pail and a coat. 
u.;?v Away from the packaged sun 
■•- .* • ./ and sneer at the fingers 
■ as they try to find me now. 

.. .' *■'.*%,".,; 





Stairs Crammed Between Two Flights 

The concrete fakes marble; stairs resonate the slaps 

of my bare feet. 

The mail has arrived. 

Its been there for days. 

I finally make the trek, down to the row of boxes. 

Boxes that remind me, 

I am surrounded by strangers. 

He is a stranger too, yet every night as I sleep he is 

clicking away messages, 

my lullaby. "Checks," I imagine he whispers, posing as an 

orderly pushing open the cracked door. 

"Checks," no, I have not yet escaped. 

He looks at me now with a hesitation; he imagines that I 

could explode. 

Prescription amphetamines were once widely 

administered to housewives. 

They would vacuum the carpet in places bare. 

I can't vacuum now. 

The mail is just bills. 

Late bills, tacked onto the new ones, 

dollar amount on the wattage of life this apartment, 2 East 

consumes. 

"Byron," I say stepping from cold concrete faking marble 

to the scratchy 

wood floors, 

"We've got mail" 




Dear Byron, 



4:30 pm 

Byron Case 

Jackson County Detention Center 

1300 Cherry Street 

Kansas City, Mo. 

64106-2828 






I cannot comprehend the situation, the space in 
which you now by force are residing. I sit at the computer 
in your old bedroom not knowing what to say, just 
knowing that I want you to know a few simple things. 

First and foremost is that I am willing and want to 
help in every way possible. I still care about your well 
being, your happiness. 

I received a phone call from Faye, she told me what 
little she knew. I have tried everyday to get the correct 
information. For at least a week I checked monochromatic 
daily waiting for a new diary entry, something to prove 
that this has not actually occurred. Finally Kristina at least 
told me what she knew and gave me this address. 

I just wish like last summer I could call up my 
mommy at 3:00 in the morning and have her wire money to 
get your ass out. It's not that simple this time is it? 

My father said, when I told him the situation, that its 
the most creative intelligent individuals that are the most 
persecuted in the end. He might actually know what he is 
talking about this time. 

Its my birthday today, last summer on my birthday, 
do you remember that night... its so different this year. I 
am finally twenty one, isn't that funny. I can finally legally 
drink. I am having a big party tomorrow night. It should be 
crazy. I am always a bit nutty in the summer, you know 
sleeping with the neighbors, awake until dawn. 

Do you sleep a lot now? Can you read books? Can I 
send you books, or magazines, or anything? Is your 
mommy doing better? 

Byron, I don't know truly what to say, or feel right 
now. I sincerely hope and must believe that the truth will 
come out and that this nightmare will end. I will do what 
ever is beneficial towards that end. 
Please stay strong and write back especially if you need 
anything at all. 
Solidarity and Love, 
Jamie Smith